Monday, March 20, 2017

In Memoriam: Okla Elliot

I have sad news to report. A fella I knew from my MA program at Ohio State, Okla Elliot, passed away two night ago. That he was in his mid-30s is tragic enough, but he was also one of the most energetic intellectuals and academics I've ever known. Although he was around my age, here's a list of his accomplishments:

  • Ph.D. in Holocaust and Legal Studies
  • co-author (w/ Raul Clement) of a science fiction novel The Doors You Mark are Your Own
  • Published a book of short fiction called From the Crooked Timber
  • Published a book of poetry called The Cartographer's Ink
  • Published a translation of a book of poems by German author Jurgen Becker
  • Author of a well-received book on Bernie Sanders; Bernie Sanders: The Essential Guide
  • Just finished another book on Pope Francis: Pope Francis: The Essential Guide
  • Co-edited an on-line magazine, As It Ought To Be, to which I once submitted a short article
  • Published a host of poems in various prestigious literary magazines, plus tons of reviews of books. And he also wrote opinion pieces.
  • Oh, and he was also working on a second doctorate in theology, having recently become a Catholic after life-long atheism.
I knew him only slightly from OSU and, although I  kept up to date on his facebook books, I had only interacted with him only a few times after graduation. Nonetheless, he was someone I admired, and he'll be missed. Had he had lived a few more decades, he could have become a major figure of American letters.

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